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Lions down Patriots on ‘Sunday Night Football’, and it wasn’t close

The Lions move to 1-2 after a 26-10 victory over the Patriots on Sunday.

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New England Patriots v Detroit Lions Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Detroit Lions beat the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, and it wasn’t really close. Detroit controlled the pace of the game and maintained a lead throughout, getting on the board first and never losing their lead, winning 26-10.

It wasn’t a blowout, but they were never in danger of losing. They held Tom Brady to just 133 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Matthew Stafford threw for 262 yards, a pair of touchdowns and an interception.

The leading receiver for the Patriots was, once again, tight end Rob Gronkowski, with just 51 yards. Sony Michel was the team’s leading back with 50 yards on 14 carries. Kerryon Johnson led the way for the Lions, picking up 101 yards on 16 carries, becoming the first Lions rusher to break 100 yards in a game since 2013.

The Lions carried a 13-3 lead into halftime, but on the opening pass of the second half, Stafford threw an interception right to Ja’Whaun Bentley. New England then turned that drive into seven points when Brady hit James White for a 10-yard touchdown. On the ensuing drive, the Lions did manage to bring it back to a two-score game when Stafford hit Marvin Jones for a 33-yard touchdown.

Prior to the game, the Patriots traded for Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon. While many were excited to see Gordon catching passes from Brady, the receiver was ruled inactive for his first game as a Patriot.

Below is the live blog from Sunday’s game, in reverse order.

Lions 26, Patriots 10, FINAL: The Patriots pick up 8 yards, then Brady is sacked for a loss of 10 yards. He throws incomplete on third down, and then on fourth down, Brady goes deep to Dorsett and it’s ... also incomplete! The Lions will take over deep in New England territory and should be able to close this one out, or at least put even more points on the board by the two-minute warning. The two-minute warning hits on fourth down, and the Lions will kick a field goal to make it a 16-point game. It’s good. Patriots take over and run the ball on first down, then again on second down. They pick up some good yardage, but it’s over.

Lions 23, Patriots 10, 4:36, 4Q: The Patriots get a first down from Michel, then Brady goes deep to Dorsett — but it’s picked off! Darius Slay grabs it, and though there’s a penalty on the return, the Lions have the ball back. They will take over on their own 19-yard line. Johnson picks up 4 yards on a run, but the clock is stopped when Stafford misses Tate. On third down, Stafford finds Riddick for a first down and then some. Blount picks up a yard on first down, then Johnson gets another yard. Stafford completes the 3rd-and-8 pass for a first down, but Decker is called for holding. The Lions instead have to punt, though Johnson does pass 100 yards rushing.

Lions 23, Patriots 10, 9:18, 4Q: Brady throws incomplete to start the Patriots’ drive, and it’s going to be a penalty for intentional grounding. Nobody was in the area at all. On second down, Brayd finds Patterson for 12 yards. On 3rd-and-8, Brady has all day to throw, but the coverage is so good downfield that Brady runs into a sack. They punt it away, and there’s an illegal block in the back on the return. The Lions will take over from their own 24-yard line. Blount picks up 4 yards, then Johnson picks up none, setting up a 3rd-and-6. Stafford misses his man on the pass, and the Lions will punt.

Lions 23, Patriots 10, 12:44, 4Q: Blount picks up 13 yards into the red zone, but they lose 5 yards on a pass to Bellore. Then Stafford throws incomplete. On 3rd-and-15, Stafford runs it and picks up a few yards, making the ensuing field goal attempt a bit easier for Prater. The 32-yard field goal is good!

Lions 20, Patriots 10, END 3Q: New England takes over on their own 29-yard line. Hogan picks up 9 yards, then Michel picks up 7 of them. Two incomplete passes to Michel, and the Patriots are facing a 3rd-and-10. On third down, Brady goes deep to Gronkowski, but it falls incomplete, leading to an Allen punt. The Lions will take back over on their own 25-yard line after fielding the punt from the 9-yard line. Johnson picks up 15 yards rushing, then Stafford finds Tate for a 25-yard gain. End of the third quarter!

Lions 20, Patriots 10, 3:45, 3Q: On first down, Stafford is sacked for a 7-yard loss by Wise. Stafford hits Riddick for 8 yards, and then on a 3rd-and-9, Stafford completes to Golladay for a 16-yard gain. They then faced a 3rd-and-1 after a couple short gains, and Stafford hits Johnson for a short pass to move the sticks. On first down, it’s play action, and Stafford finds Jones for a 33-yard touchdown! The extra point is good and it’s back to being a two-score game.

Lions 13, Patriots 10, 10:03, 3Q: Johnson picks up 7 yards to start for Detroit, then Blount loses a yard. On third down, Stafford throws a bad pass right to Bentley for the interception, giving the Patriots the ball near midfield! They pick up a few yards on a run, then get some more after a Lions facemask penalty. Then the Patriots are called for holding and lose some yards. Gronkowski catches one for 19 yards, then Brady sneaks for the 2nd-and-1. On a 3rd-and-8, Brady hits White for a 10-yard touchdown.

Lions 13, Patriots 3, END 2Q: With only 40 seconds to go from their own 25-yard line, the Lions come out throwing. Stafford hits Tate for an 11-yard gain. They take a timeout. Stafford hits Golladay for a 9-yard gain, and they burn their final timeout. Jones picks up 4 yards and the Lions have to spike it. Twelve seconds remaining, and Golladay catches another, but the clock runs out and we go to halftime.

Lions 13, Patriots 3, 0:40, 2Q: The Patriots quickly faced another third down, but they managed to pick it up with a short Michel run. Brady then finds Gronkowski for a 15-yard pickup and a first down. They move across midfield on the ensuing first down. Two-minute warning. Brady finds Burkhead for 19 yards, then Hogan for 6 more. Michel runs for 3 yards to the Detroit 16, but on 3rd-and-1, Michel is stopped for a 2-yard loss. The Lions take a timeout and the Patriots, presumably, will go for the field goal. And they are — Gostkowski is good from 36 yards out.

Lions 13, Patriots 0, 4:58, 2Q: New England takes over on their own 25-yard line, but if you blinked, you missed the drive. They picked up 2 yards on the ground, then Brady hit Burkhead for 7 yards, but couldn’t convert the third down. So it’s another 3-and-out for New England. Detroit takes over on their own 22-yard line. They pick up a few yards, then lose some. But on 3rd-and-long, Stafford hits Jones for a 16-yard pickup. The Patriots are called for defensive holding, and then for too many men on the field. Johnson picks up 14 yards on a rush. On a 3rd-and-3, Johnson pickx up 6 yards and a new set of downs in New England territory. Stafford throws a couple incomplete passes within the 10-yard line, though, and the Lions have to settle for another field goal, this one from 25 yards.

Lions 10, Patriots 0, 14:12, 2Q: A quick 8-yard pass to Blount gives the Lions a nice start, but they’re called for offensive holding on the next play. But they pick up the first down when Stafford hits Wilson for a 12-yard gain. Johnson picks up runs of 9 and 12 yards, and they’re into New England territory. Stafford hits Jones for a 15-yard gain and the quarter comes to an end with the Lions at the New England 9-yard line. They pick up 5 yards on a Johnson run, and Patricia is challenging the ensuing play, which looked like a touchdown but was waved off. It should be overturned — and it is. Lions take an even bigger lead.

Lions 3, Patriots 0, 4:53, 1Q: After the 11-play Lions drive only produced three points, the Patriots took the field on their own 25-yard line. They lose yardage on first down, and then Brady has two incomplete passes to set up another 3-and-out. Detroit will take over at their own 40-yard line.

Lions 3, Patriots 0, 6:00, 1Q: The Lions kicked off to start, and Patterson made it out to the New England 42-yard line on the return. Two short runs and an incomplete pass later, and the Patriots have a 3-and-out. Allen punts, and the Lions take over on their own 14-yard line. Blount picks up 3 yards on the ground, then Stafford finds Gollady for an 8-yard pickup and a first down. They get another first down when Stafford hits Blount on a short pass. Blount gets the ball three plays in a row for a total of 22 yards, and the Lions are at midfield. They move into New England territory when Stafford finds Tate for an 18-yard reception. After a couple more plays, the Lions will settle for a 39-yard field goal attempt from Prater. It’s good, and the Lions have a lead.

8:15 p.m.: Our live blog will be rolling just as soon as this game kicks off, so keep it here for the highlights and action.

Matt Patricia spent 14 seasons with the New England Patriots, and on Sunday Night Football, he’ll try and dig his Detroit Lions out of an 0-2 hole against his former team. The game is set for 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC (live streaming via FuboTV, NBC Sports).

The Lions fell to the New York Jets in Week 1, and couldn’t come back and beat the San Francisco 49ers in Week 2. They have a tough upcoming schedule that includes the Packers, Cowboys and Vikings — wins could be rare in the first half of the season for Detroit.

New England bested the Houston Texans, narrowly, in Week 1, and then lost, 31-20, to the Jacksonville Jaguars their last time out. They’re hurting on the offensive side of the ball, but have brought in Josh Gordon from the Cleveland Browns, so we’ll see if he’s in action on Sunday (Update: he’s not).

Below is all you need to know to follow the action.

Time, TV, and streaming info

  • Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
  • Location: Ford Field, Detroit, Mi.
  • TV: NBC
  • Streaming: FuboTV, NBC Sports
  • Odds: Detroit opened as 7-point underdogs to the Patriots

Patriots vs. Lions news

In total, I don’t expect big contributions from Gordon as a whole to the offense. However, teams are also very well aware what he’s capable of from that breakout year with Cleveland five seasons ago. Whether that matchup has a domino effect that improves the Patriots’ chances of putting together a strong offense that can win the postseason is yet to be seen.

Patriots vs. Lions prediction

Of the seven experts picking Week 3 games for SB Nation, not a single one picked the Lions to win it. The OddsShark computer also picked the Patriots, while the 18-14 coin flip is going with Detroit!